Tonight at 6:07 PM in Arizona, the Dodgers set out to save their season. To save the fan base from another heartbreak. To save themselves from complete and total embarrassment. And to save the hides of Andrew Friedman and Dave Roberts.
No, neither is in imminent danger of being fired. But another first round exit in the playoffs — the third in the last four non-shortened seasons — would bring some serious questions to the forefront.
How can 100-win baseball teams be consistently so bad in the postseason? Is there something fundamentally wrong with the front office think tank for October?
It could just be that the team is cursed. But to have so much talent disappear the second the lights turn on every full season postseason has to be explainable.
This team could still be shell-shocked from losing spectacularly last season; haunted by the ghost of Jake Cronenworth past. Could it be that Roberts, Friedman, and even Clayton Kershaw never fully recovered from serving up back to back home runs in relief to the Nationals in 2019 to pull the rug out from a powerhouse Dodger roster?
There’s been a consistent timidness from LA over the last two Octobers. And this year it feels and looks like a group playing spooked. Scared…
Tonight, they need a miracle. And the miracle starts with Lance Lynn and a 5.73 ERA on the mound. He was good after coming to LA. Take away two starts from his outings after the trade deadline and maybe he was electric, albeit still with a home run problem.
Perhaps the Dodgers will benefit from being away from Dodger Stadium and 50,000 fans with their own expectations piercing the players on the field with their gaze of disappointment…
Fear because if the Dodgers lose, once again fans also face the cricisms of the baseball world who laugh at a 100-win team that consistently fails.
The Dodgers need a miracle. A miracle out of Lynn and a miracle out of Mookie Betts. As in, not a pop fly out to open the game or a ground out up the middle. At this point, it feels like it would be a minor miracle to see Mookie doing “The Freddie” at second base this fall.
The Dodgers need to hit in the first inning and give the Diamondbacks a taste of their own medicine. And that starts with taking the stick out of their you know where and playing loose. Playing with any swagger on the field.
This team has a tradition that started mid-season where they celebrate series wins with tequila shots as a group. I hope and plead with them to please take that shot before the game starts. Have fun together. Play together. Win together. And just maybe that miracle will become a reality.
Photo Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports